How Good Can Graphics Get in the Next Generation?


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myNando

I came across a very good article about next-gen visual expectations.

...It'll be a while before to see creatures like the ones seen in The Chronicles of Narnia's as videogame-rendered character models. There are still huge obstacles that CG animators face in the film space that games are no where near tackling. Take Aslan the lion for instance. Each frame of him on screen took a whooping 10 hours to render. This was supposedly an improvement by previous standards. Can you imagine what it would take to render a character model like that in a real-time game? Next-gen consoles are powerful, but not that powerful.

As games get closer to the real thing, several issues pop-up. In some respects, a game that's too real could potentially leech the entertainment value right of the game. How so you ask? Well, imagine a game that's so real that when you nail a headshot, you see realistic-looking brains explode from the guy's head. That could get down-right nauseating if it looked real enough.

But in other respects, better graphics can make a game look more fake. King points out that, "the closer you get to real, the harder it is to be convincing. Get a character 98% realistic and they will look creepy and jarring. Get them 50% right and your imagination fills in the rest. We can accept it. It's that last few percent that's the killer. Take smiles. If you dont wrinkle the eyes the right way to show the cheek muscles are activated, a character's smile will make you feel unnerved and you won't trust the character..."

howgoodcangraphicsgetinthenext.jpg

Don't hold your breath. It'll be a while before our game characters look like Aslan here.

There's lots more to read at: http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/704/704638p1.html

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Marduk
Some of you have noticed that a large sum of the next-gen games we've seen so far look way too shiny or plastic.

LOL! SOME of us? Anyone that ISN'T a fanboi notices that right off the bat.

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myNando

Shiny & plastic is a fad in video games like how Aero/Glass is a fad for themes. LOL!

I'm pretty sure that we'll see a lot of variation graphics-wise in the next couple of years w/ the next-gen consoles. We just gotta wait.

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PL_

As games get closer to the real thing, several issues pop-up. In some respects, a game that's too real could potentially leech the entertainment value right of the game. How so you ask? Well, imagine a game that's so real that when you nail a headshot, you see realistic-looking brains explode from the guy's head. That could get down-right nauseating if it looked real enough.

There's a simple answer to this: Cel-shading.

Besides, look at horror films!!!

Shiny & plastic is a fad in video games like how Aero/Glass is a fad for themes. LOL!

I'm pretty sure that we'll see a lot of variation graphics-wise in the next couple of years w/ the next-gen consoles. We just gotta wait.

Another thing I've noticed devs doing is putting in a lot of blur, to make it look more next-gen. And to be honest, it works for me.

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jimbo11883

I don't agree with the whole realism part. If I was playing a war game, the more real it looks, the better. I've been waiting for a war game (Imagine COD looking like Saving Private Ryan, for example) looking that real for a long time. :)

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Zaic

technology doesnt stand, it takes 10hours to render lion today - tommorow 10s

when I saw first screens of doom3 - I said to myself its amazing now im looking at Crysis and the same words come out

most of nowadays games are already grafically more advanced than a ToyStory1 movie

my guess is that in 5 years well se some games that compare to matrix movies, maybe duke nukem forever will be one of those

p.s

sorry for mistakes im drunk :p

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DJ Trauma
most of nowadays games are already grafically more advanced than a ToyStory1 movie

my guess is that in 5 years well se some games that compare to matrix movies, maybe duke nukem forever will be one of those

You can't really compare toy story 1 graphics to those of the matrix. Toy Story are computer generated graphics while the matrix is real filming, so it'll take a bit longer to make games look like that :)

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DELTETHISACCOUNT

I don't know, I'm not really impressed much. My expectations are too high. I want to see something that looks "Advent Children" like, but then again, I think i'm asking for too much. I don't think we're there yet.

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akrazo32

Ive been speechless since i played games like COD2, Condemned, and Perfect Dark Zero. but its not only about graphics capabilities. youve gotta be able to respect the true physics they've put into games now.

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myNando
Ive been speechless since i played games like COD2, Condemned, and Perfect Dark Zero. but its not only about graphics capabilities. youve gotta be able to respect the true physics they've put into games now.
I think physics is more important than graphics for most games. I believe the whole "next-gen" idea is more about physics/movement than graphics. To get you more involved into the game and have you truly believe your environment. I mean, you could have a really amazing-looking game but without a great playability, it's not gonna survive very long.

One thing I'd like to see in the next-gen games soon is whenever clothing touches water, it actually looks wet... and hair that moves & looks like hair (DOA4 hair is not very cool). LOL

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DirtyLarry

Ive been speechless since i played games like COD2, Condemned, and Perfect Dark Zero. but its not only about graphics capabilities. youve gotta be able to respect the true physics they've put into games now.

Agreed fully.

While graphics obviously are one of the biggest measures for how next gen a game is, alot of people forget about good old game play.

A perfect example I can use is there is nothing I cannot stand more than playing a First Person Shooter, seeing a light, and not being able to shoot it so it goes out. So many games you can do this now as a standard, but there are still games out there that do not pay attention to the details.

Until everything is covered and pushed to it's limits in these next gen games, graphics, physics, game play, etc. etc., they are still the same old, same old, with a new layer of visuals, at least IMO.

Interesting read though. I too also hope graphics only get super real in certain places, I still feel having a visual style that separates them from reality is what makes them what they are, but I can also see a full on relaisitic looking Call Of Duty game coming out as well. I think in the future if everything looked to real it would wind up making everything looking way to fake, if that makes any sense at all.

Good find article wise though, no doubt. (Y)

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KeR

for real-life-looking-games I give it 5-10 more years.

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Vice

I wonder when people will stop calling it "Next Generation" since we already have the "Next Gen" consoles and games.

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leovanham

I wonder when people will stop calling it "Next Generation" since we already have the "Next Gen" consoles and games.

that's trough but next generation is also the next generation to come ;) you say next monday you dont say ow next monday already past ;)

Take Aslan the lion for instance. Each frame of him on screen took a whooping 10 hours to render

10 hours for 1 frame??? i don't believe this.

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Business

I don't know, I'm not really impressed much. My expectations are too high. I want to see something that looks "Advent Children" like, but then again, I think i'm asking for too much. I don't think we're there yet.

I agree on the AC thing, I was hoping newer games would have got closer but ti's all like plastic >.<

Funny thing is when I first saw FF8 on TV I rememebr how everyone made it hyped up on the gfx only find out it was all FMV scenes lol.

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myNando
I wonder when people will stop calling it "Next Generation" since we already have the "Next Gen" consoles and games.
When PlayStation4 and the others come out...since those would be the "next gen"... and PS3, etc. would be "current gen." lol

Is there such a thing as "next generation audio" or has audio already been pushed to the limit in consoles?

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jerzdawg

Agreed fully.

While graphics obviously are one of the biggest measures for how next gen a game is, alot of people forget about good old game play.

A perfect example I can use is there is nothing I cannot stand more than playing a First Person Shooter, seeing a light, and not being able to shoot it so it goes out. So many games you can do this now as a standard, but there are still games out there that do not pay attention to the details.

Until everything is covered and pushed to it's limits in these next gen games, graphics, physics, game play, etc. etc., they are still the same old, same old, with a new layer of visuals, at least IMO.

Interesting read though. I too also hope graphics only get super real in certain places, I still feel having a visual style that separates them from reality is what makes them what they are, but I can also see a full on relaisitic looking Call Of Duty game coming out as well. I think in the future if everything looked to real it would wind up making everything looking way to fake, if that makes any sense at all.

Good find article wise though, no doubt. (Y)

couldnt agree more... I know you prob missed the whole Duke Nukem 3d era(not sure if you were into PC games yet.. and not sure if it ever came out for the Mac) but that was one of the first games where I remember being able to shoot out the lights... actually turn the lights on and off by light switch.. the bathroom comes to mind on the first level of duke 3d... and just little things in that game.. you can open cabinets and a few other things that just made it feel a lil more "real"... max payne 2 comes to mind also with the "real" effects.... man i miss playing duke3d... /goes to look for a place to DL it...

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TogaForComfort

You can't really compare toy story 1 graphics to those of the matrix. Toy Story are computer generated graphics while the matrix is real filming, so it'll take a bit longer to make games look like that :)

There were scenes in the matrix (mainly parts 2 + 3) where they used computer generated images of the actors. Look at the big fight with many smiths and neo in the second one. To be honest I love all of the matrix films but something was not right about the computer generated actors the stood a mile out to me but I can't put my finger on why. John Gaeta (visual effects supervisor on the matrix) showed zooming in on the computer generated actors and showing you could even see the pores in there skin, but I was still not convinced by them.

I think we still have some way to go before we can even have a real looking CG actor let alone a character in a game

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Fighter-X

I don't know, I'm not really impressed much. My expectations are too high. I want to see something that looks "Advent Children" like, but then again, I think i'm asking for too much. I don't think we're there yet.

That's what I always wanted for a game! I think movie rendering is different than game rendering though, but I'm not sure. :(

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Scirwode

I think physics is more important than graphics for most games. I believe the whole "next-gen" idea is more about physics/movement than graphics. To get you more involved into the game and have you truly believe your environment. I mean, you could have a really amazing-looking game but without a great playability, it's not gonna survive very long.

One thing I'd like to see in the next-gen games soon is whenever clothing touches water, it actually looks wet... and hair that moves & looks like hair (DOA4 hair is not very cool). LOL

Agreed, it would be great to see something like that in the near future but developers can only do so much now, what with the complexity of the consoles being released today. As consoles become more and more advance and powerful, developers have to retrain themselves to code for the newer consoles so it becomes quite difficult after each leap of generation. I believe it is more software rather than hardware side of the problem. Until then, it will be some time before we see a game capable of handling graphics that look real. Now though, physics is what they should be concentrating on, what with the next Far Cry able to shoot shrubbery.

10 hours for 1 frame??? i don't believe this.

Why not? Rendering a single frame in Maya for me would probably take 3 days before it finishes rendering. And that is with the lowest setting (320 x 240, No AA, No lighting and shadows). And they render it on workstations and use network rendering.

PSG22

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azz0r_wugg

Motion blur, depth of field and physics are what will make this generation really worth it.

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giga

Is there such a thing as "next generation audio" or has audio already been pushed to the limit in consoles?

From Bungie's Weekly Update:

I was helping Marty set up an AV system to test out some new surround effects. Marty is finally comfortable with the new audio features of the 360, after months of playing around with it. He actually seemed giddy when he explained that he was able to run "more than five" simultaneous 5.1 streams.

"Whuh?" I asked.

"Well," explained Marty, very patiently, "I could have the surround for sound effects, a 5.1 music soundtrack and surround for an overlaid video feed, for example," he said, with a sigh. "I don't know what we could use other 5.1 streams for really, but we will think of something."

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Smigit

A game doesnt have to be projected on a 20m cinema display but and still look convincing. The 10 hours is because of the insane amount of detail you have to render to make it look decent for a large display. A 1.5M home teli isnt going to be anywhere near as taxing to get something ath looks realistic.

Saying that I think itll be a while. We are still so very far from getting realistic environments. Sure things look nice but no game really has any of the fine details yet and I think it will be some time. By that I mean things like trees where each leave moves independantly of eachother. Skin that moves and contorts convincingly. Hair where each strand is independanr ect ect. The closer you get the more dificult it is to progress as all these things are extremly taxing on a processor.

Conclusion? Narnia was a terrible movie. :rofl:

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PL_

10 hours for 1 frame??? i don't believe this.

Shrek took 60 hours per frame

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Scirwode

Conclusion? Narnia was a terrible movie. :rofl:

You take that back :crazy: . Narnia was a good movie :laugh: . If you don't, I'll err... blow Queen Susan's horn and get King Peter to set his sword on you... :whistle: :shiftyninja: .

PSG22

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